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The Epic Games Store (often shortened to just Epic Store), is a digital platform aiming to directly compete with Steam, created by Epic Games. Originally, the platform was confined to just a launcher used almost exclusively for the next-generation version of Unreal Tournament to be showcased, but has since grown into a more diversified offering, including a store front and friends list. The Epic Store also offers free games weekly, with one to two games typically available, although there has been more.
In late 2018, Epic Games began to aggressively promote the new platform to publishers who were about to release a new video game; publishers would be paid to ensure exclusivity of these new titles to ensure they would only be sold on the Epic Games Store on PC. The first such notable video game to be declared an exclusive in this manner was Metro Exodus, the sequel to Metro: Last Light. Despite previously advertising to its fans (and indeed, having a Steam Store page up here) that it would release on Steam, Deep Silver instead made a business decision to make the video game an Epic Games Store exclusive. The following was displayed on the Steam Store page for Metro Exodus:
|“||Sales of Metro Exodus have been discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.
The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.
We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.
|~ Steam Support|
Ubisoft soon followed suit with Tom Clancy's The Division 2, although this example is somewhat moot; all Ubisoft video games run through the Uplay digital platform (on which Tom Clancy's The Division 2 is still very much available), and most stores, including Steam, merely serve as a means to launch Uplay; Ubisoft did, however, entirely remove the Steam Store entry for Tom Clancy's The Division 2, and more Ubisoft games in the future will be Epic Games Store exclusives.
2K later on declared that Borderlands 3 would also be an Epic Games Store exclusive, but only for a period of six months.